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Wondering if a page is as meaningful as possible? Submit it to a quick test. Simply hold the page up from a distance and ask another person, "Quick--what do you see first on this page? What do you see next?" If a person answers, "A picture of a child", "Lots of writing" or something similar, your focus is meaning oriented. If the person answers, "A cute paper doll", "Kites all over the background", "Super fancy folding" or something similar, your focus is accent oriented.

Ask yourself, "Is my focus where I want it?" If not, resize, rearrange, add or subtract elements until you find the right mix for the maximum meaning. Source: Creating Keepsakes-September 2000 Issue

Two-page layout tips: remember, if your colors and accents don't coordinate, your two-page spread won't either, even if you use the following techniques. Color is very, very important!

It is more important to keep the main focus on the photos and help other people move easily through an album. The idea is to make it easy for readers to see a set of pages as a whole. Mismatched pages next to each other have little in common.

Make two page layouts look like one (ie. tie the four corners together by adding triangles of patterned or solid colored paper to the two outside corners of each page).

Create a two-page layout using two papers that don't necessarily match, but coordinate. Mat your focal point picture with the same paper as the background on the opposite page.

When you and others look through your scrapbooks, you should feel a sense of flow, continuity and visual comfort. You should want to keep turning the pages. This will create a more visually "complete" scrapbook.

Don't forget spreads of more than two pages in your scrapbook. It is just as easy to tie several pages together visually as it is with two. Try creating a three or four-page layout with panoramic sheet protectors.

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